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The place where the world comes together in honesty and mirth.
Windmills Tilted, Scared Cows Butchered, Lies Skewered on the Lance of Reality ... or something to that effect.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
Your family means a great deal to you -- and your elders are especially dear.
When you wake up in the mood to get together with family members today, especially your elders, don't hesitate to postpone your plans.
You need to see them, and of course they are delighted to see you.
Of course, you can always take your sweetheart along, or include your family in that friendly gathering coming up.  
Some of our readers today have been in:
Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Medicine Hat, Alberta Canada
Perth, Western Australia, Australia
Rome, Lazio, Italy
Thornhill, Ontario, Canada
Berlin, Berlin, Germany
Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Paris, Ile-De-France, France
London, England, United Kingdom
Burnley, England, United Kingdom
Taipei, Taipei, Taiwan
Chatswood, New South Wales, Australia
Den Helder, Noord-Holland, Netherlands
Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India
Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
Schwerin, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany
Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada
Lille, Nord-Pas-De-Calais, France
New Delhi, Delhi, India
Istanbul, Istanbul, Turkey
Zagreb, Grad Zagreb, Croatia

as well as Singapore, China, Iran, and the United States in such cities such as Knoxville, Reedsburg, Belle Chasse, Kirkland and more

Today is Sunday, April 25, the 115th day of 2010.
There are 250 days left in the year.

There are no unusual holidays or celebrations today

As The World Turns

As The World Turns
Paraguay suspends due process to combat kidnappers
Lawmakers gave Paraguay's president and army emergency powers resembling martial law Saturday to pursue a guerrilla group known for its kidnappings in the north of the country.
Full story
This isn't good - suspending due process is always a bad idea.

More than 80 schoolgirls have fallen ill in three cases of mass sickness over the past week in northern Afghanistan, raising fears that militants who oppose education for girls are using poison to scare them away from school, authorities said Sunday.
South Korean minister: Torpedo likely sank warship
An explosion from a torpedo likely sank a South Korean warship that went down near the tense border with North Korea last month, the South's defense minister said Sunday amid growing speculation Pyongyang may be behind the blast.
Brazilian judge orders boy returned to Houston father
For the second time in four months, a judge has ordered a Brazilian to relinquish custody of a child to his American father.

The Lost State of Jefferson

The Lost State of Jefferson
Step up and meet Jefferson, the 49th state of the Union, this pamphlet announces. The proponents of this US state-to-be, made up of California’s northern parts and southern bits of Oregon, seem to have been firm believers in the strategy of the fait accompli, for their handbill states: If you preserve the map above, you may be acquiring an historic piece of americana to pass on to your descendents. It’s one of the first ever drawn of the new, 49th “State of Jefferson” which 45,000 secessionists of Oregon and California hope to carve out of their states.
But the fait of Jefferson was never accompli, the secession never consummated. Unbeknownst to the jeffersonists, the tide of history would soon turn against them. Very soon: note the date – Dec. 6, 1941. One day later, a Japanese sneak attack would destroy the American Pacific Fleet. This meant, among a great many other things, no more time for frivolous secessionism. And so the idea of a state named for Thomas Jefferson was killed off . This time by the Japanese agression, but hardly the first time.
The lost state of Jefferson is a star-crossed, but particularly persistent project in American history. From the middle of the 19th century, the name of the third US president has been attached to at least three unsuccessful attempts at state-building.

It's The Economy Stupid

It's The Economy Stupid

10 cities facing default 'double whammy'

A stunning percentage of homeowners are underwater on their mortgages and jobless. 

Five common money mistakes to avoid

Small purchases like a $15 pair of bargain jeans and the occasional fancy coffee can add up.

The Anarchy of Cheese Made Simple

book cover cheesemonger by gordon edgar image
Book Review: Cheesemonger by Edgar Gordon
Cheesemonger inspires one to become an expert on cheese -- or on anything for that matter -- with the realization that this goal is achievable with a good dose of humility, curiosity and hard work. And if you already fancy yourself a cheese expert, such as the American who did a two year post-doc at the Sorbonne, this book may prevent you from making an overconfident ass of yourself. Best of all, this book celebrates both old and new world cheeses, proving that cheesemaking continues to perpetuate a local tradition in which the consumer can revel in the taste of the "grass roots."
Article continues: The Anarchy of Cheese Made Simple



Constipated sea turtle released

When you gotta go, you gotta go. 
Unfortunately for a 200-pound loggerhead sea turtle, he couldn't go and therefore he couldn't dive. Enter the good doctors at the Turtle Hospital in the Florida Keys, who diagnosed "Pal" with a serious digestive problem and used a pretty common human remedy to solve the reptile's bowel issues.

"The turtle couldn't go to the bathroom so we gave him Metamucil to help him with that," said Richie Moretti of the Turtle Hospital. Now Pal is swimming, and pooping, just like any other healthy loggerhead in the wild. He was released off Marathon on Thursday.

Doctors said Pal's digestive system was overloaded by his seaweed intake. That's a potentially fatal issue for sea turtles because they need to defecate in order to take a dive.

Pal was found by four fishermen off the Lower Keys who noticed the turtle couldn't submerge itself under the water. No diving means no food and also leaves sea turtles susceptible to predators from above and below. Turtle doctors spent the next month curing Pal's back up problem with antibiotics, oils and the laxative found in most homes.

Rare Spotted Leopard Photographed for First Time in Malaysian National Park

spotted leopard johor malaysia national park panthera 
A spotted leopard caught on camera in Taman Negara Endau-Rompin National Park. Photo credit: Johor Wildlife Department/Panthera/WCS
Routine surveys for tigers in a Malaysian national park have yielded an unexpected, and cheering, result for big-cat researchers: A first-time sighting in the area of a rare spotted leopard, "captured" on film by a digital camera trap.
Article continues: Rare Spotted Leopard Photographed for First Time in Malaysian National Park 

Armed woman perches in tree to prevent power company's limb trimming

A Texas woman says she doesn't want the electric company anywhere near her trees. Jeri Huber hasn't climbed a tree in 50 years, but she's planning to be up in her pecan tree on Monday morning, she's planning to protect it with a pellet gun. "That's how serious I take all this," she said while sitting in the tree in her manicured backyard. "I'm up in a tree."

Crews hired by Oncor Electric Delivery plan to trim back her pecan tree branches to keep them at least 10 feet from the power lines. After talking to Oncor and the tree-trimming subcontractor working for the power company, Huber said she'd rather have someone else cut the trees. "He said, 'Oh, all this is going to have to go. This is going to have to come back. It's 10 feet here, 10 feet there,'" Huber said. "They are not willing to work with you at all. They just kind of bully their way through this as if a homeowner has no rights."

Huber said the contractor told her they would trim the trees anyway, and she took that as a threat against her property. She says she doesn't plan on firing. "I just want it to look threatening," she said. "I would not be shooting anyone."

Huber says she has allowed Oncor to trim different trees in her yard in the past and understands the need to trim limbs near power lines, but she believes trimming the tree limbs 10 feet back could kill the trees. "They're going to be devastated," she said. "This one may die, this one over here may die, the others are going to look horrible. We all wants power. Power is very important, and I want it as much as anybody else, but what they do to trees is not necessary."

As clueless as ever ...

Dudley Do Right

World's first leg transplant to be given go ahead

The world's first leg transplant is to take place this summer. The breakthrough operation could offer hope to millions of amputees and injured war veterans. Health chiefs in Spain are expected to give surgeon Pedro Cavadas the go-ahead for the pioneering operation next month. The news comes just a day after it emerged surgeons in Barcelona had performed the world's first full-face transplant.

Cavadas, who has already carried out a partial face transplant and three arm transplants, plans to perform a double leg transplant using limbs from a dead donor. The unnamed recipient, who would otherwise face life in a wheelchair, had both legs amputated above the knee after an accident. Spain's National Transplant Organization (ONT), which has studied the request, has already indicated its support.

The country's regional health chiefs will decide whether to approve the operation at a meeting at the end of May. Medics will then alert hospitals nationwide to try to identify a donor. The operation is expected to take place in the summer at La Fe Hospital in Valencia. It will give hope to soldiers who have had legs amputated after falling victim to roadside bombs in places like Afghanistan.

Rafael Matesanz, President of the ONT, said: 'My impression on Dr Cavadas' dossier is favourable and that the operation will be approved as the world's first leg transplant.' Mr Matesanz claimed leg transplants were less complicated than face transplants but had a 'limited clinical justification'. 'In our view a person who has lost a leg is much better off with an artificial limb than a transplant which involves a complicated operation, a long period of rehabilitation and lifelong medication to prevent rejection of the new limb,' he said.

New Zealand drug dealer caught by tsunami warning

"Between irony and farce"

When the tsunami warning came, Richard Carlson knew he had to get his cannabis stash to higher ground. So he had nearly 8kg of the drug in his car when police spotted his broken tail light and pulled him over.

Judge Adeane said Carlson's vehicle was stopped on September 30 on the corner of Te Araroa and Waiomatitini Roads, just south of Te Araroa township, where police found 7.9kg of cannabis in 15 plastic bags. Carlson said he was moving the cannabis because of a tsunami warning. The cannabis was mouldy but would have been worth $40,000 in good condition.

Crown prosecutor Jo Rielly said the cannabis was not in good condition. There was no evidence of sales and police were not looking for Carlson. It had been a random arrest. Carlson was relocating the cannabis and there was an element of hoarding.

"It defies rational explanation. These facts, with respect, could only happen on the East Coast," Judge Tony Adeane said in Gisborne District Court yesterday. The facts lay "between irony and farce", said the judge. Richard Toihau Carlson, 57, pleaded guilty to possessing cannabis for supply and was sentenced to 12 months home detention.

Psychics accused of vanishing with "cursed money"

Authorities in Illinois are searching for two women charged with stealing a woman's money under the pretense of cleansing it of evil spirits.

Cook County authorities indicted Laura Santini, 61, and her daughter, Rosann, 35, on felony theft charges this week for scamming a Park Ridge woman out of $62,000.

"They basically were able to convince the victim that some money she had gotten was cursed money and that somehow that curse had transferred to other money that she had," Chicago police Detective Milorad Sofrenovic said. "They told her that in order to be able to remove this curse, they needed to take this money physically to a shrine in Indiana and with prayers drive the curse from the money."

Sofrenovic said the woman realized she had been scammed when she saw a "for rent" sign on the women's Chicago home. He said the women have not been seen in more than a year.
Well, if you are stupid enough to give your money to a 'psychic' ... well ...

Woman arrested for shooting people with blow darts

A 41-year-old Plover woman is behind bars awaiting charges after allegedly driving around hitting people with blow darts.

Stevens Point Police say Paula Wolf was arrested at about 9:30 on Wednesday night, after police say she drove around in her van shooting people with blow darts. In total, police say about 5 people were shot with blow darts.

Wolf tells police the reason she shot people with blow darts is because she likes to hear people say the word 'ouch.'

Police say when Wolf was pulled over they found a blow gun, a sling shot, and a small bucket of rocks sitting on the floor of that van she was driving. She is currently in the Portage County Jail.



City in Peru Being Eaten By Open-Pit Mine

photo peru mine sinking cerro de pasco 
Can you find Peru on a world map? Hurry. The city of Cerro de Pasco, Peru, is being swallowed by ever-expanding, open-pit zinc and lead mine. A colonial church dating back to 1748 has disappeared, along with the town's center square.
Article continues: City in Peru Being Eaten By Open-Pit Mine

Leader of notorious German colony dead in Chile

A former Nazi soldier who founded a secretive, commune-like colony of German immigrants died Saturday in a Chilean prison where he was serving time for child molestation and human rights abuses dating to the dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet.

Giant Key Lime Pie in Key West

There's plenty of key lime pie for people hanging in Key West. 
A gargantuan pie, 7 feet in diameter and 450 pounds was served Friday for the island's annual independence celebration, marking the Keys' 1982 mock secession from the U.S.  

Odds and Sods

Odds and Sods
Teen runaway found sleeping in Bed Bath & Beyond
Workers opening a Bed Bath & Beyond store were startled to discover a 15-year-old runaway sleeping inside.
Farmer Finds Stolen 116-pound African Tortoise
A 116-pound African tortoise has returned home after being stolen from its enclosure on a Vermont farm.
A fun game of cow pie bingo
Many people enjoy a game of bingo. They do not usually do it with cow pies. The Pueblo South High School band put together a new fundraiser that did just that on Saturday.

Adrian and Hannah McInnes asked identical twins Josh and Jerimiah Dockter to be their dates for Saturday's formal dance at Jamestown High School.